The Organic Debate

What are the dirty dozens?

Fruits and vegetables can have a fair bit of chemical residue because of the pesticides used during conventional farming practices to prevent pests and maintain appearance. A dirty dozen list exists, possibly to encourage people to buy more organically certified foods, therefore to spend more money. Others believe all foods, including organic foods, have traces of pesticides to some degree because chemicals can still linger in the air by wind. Overall, some fruits and vegetables carry more chemicals than others, see the dirty dozen below (Dirty Dozen):

  • Strawberries, apples, nectarines
  • Peaches, celery, grapes, and more

How can this affect me?

Discussions continue about whether health problems are directly linked to eating conventional grown foods (chemical pesticides and GMOs). It is said fruits and vegetables do carry traces of chemical pesticide, however, the amount is too low to cause major harm to humans. Others mention the growing health problems (i.e. obesity and heart disease) are related to foods we consume everyday, produce that is available all season long. This is not how Grandma used to make a great meal, she would use ingredients that were seasonal.

Moreover, this puts us in a difficult situation, to decide if we ought to switch to organic-certified foods since most of our ‘all season’ foods come from all over the world, making it hard to narrow the origin of each ingredient. Let’s keep in mind that organic foods do cost more because methods other than chemical pesticides are used to grow and maintain quality of crop. At the end of the day, it is a personal preference (Croplife).

Any foods with lower chemical pesticides?

If you’re not ready to dive into organic-certified fruits and vegetables, you can certainly buy foods that are less likely to hold large amounts of chemical pesticides. Some have mentioned the thick or texture skin on these fruits and vegetables provide shield, thus hold less chemical pesticides. See list below (Clean Fifteen) (Food News):

  • Avocados, sweet corn, pineapple,
  • Cabbage, sweet peas frozen, onions, and more
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